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Note:This website is where you can find advertising law information based on archived news briefs from past issues of Advertising Compliance Service. These archived advertising law-related news briefs were published in Advertising Compliance Service in July 2003.





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Darrell Richmond agreed not to engage in work-at-home opportunities or business ventures as part of a settlement with FTC. According to FTC, Richmond, using various company names, deceptively marketed his envelope stuffing business opportunity to consumers over the Internet.

In its complaint, FTC alleged that Richmond misrepresented that he would provide all necessary materials to perform the work-at-home envelope stuffing business opportunity, and misrepresented earnings claims. The settlement also bars Richmond from misrepresenting earnings claims, costs, and the type of assistance he will provide in connection with the sale of any good or service. In November 2002, FTC filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that Richmond promoted his business opportunity using the names: Bargain Shoppers Network Direct!, BSN Direct!, Speciality Merchandising Wholesale Direct!, SMW Direct! and Apex Direct Marketing Group, and Apex Enterprises, and on the Internet at:,, and The complaint alleged that Richmond advertised that "home mailers" were needed to stuff envelopes with circulars which allegedly advertised a wholesale and retail line of some 3,500 giftware and collectible items. Richmond allegedly offered to pay consumers $2 per envelope stuffed, saying that consumers could earn between $100 to $1,000 or more per week. He also promised that he would provide all the necessary materials to consumers at his own expense.

The settlement was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, and the judge approved the settlement on July 18, 2003.

NOTE: This stipulated permanent injunction and final order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendants of a law violation. Stipulated permanent injunction and final order have the force of law when signed by the judge.

(FTC v. Darrell Richmond, an individual, doing business as BSN Direct!, Bargain Shopper Network Direct!, SMW Direct!, Specialty Merchandise Wholesale Direct!, Apex Direct Marketing Group, and Apex Enterprises, Case No. 3:02-3979-22 (District of South Carolina), FTC File No. X030026, Civil Action No. 3:02-3979-22, July 24, 2003.)


FTC OK'd the issuance of two final consent orders in matters concerning LCA-Vision, Inc. d/b/a LASIK-PLUS and The Laser Vision Institute, LLC. The now-finalized consent orders with these firms settles charges that their ads were not substantiated by scientific evidence.

According to FTC's complaints, both LCA and LVI violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by making unsubstantiated claims as to benefits, performance, and efficacy of the LASIK procedure. Also, LVI allegedly made a false claim regarding "free" LASIK consultations, and LCA allegedly made an unsubstantiated safety claim about LASIK services.

NOTE: [A] proposed consent decree is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission of a law violation. Consent decrees have the force of law when signed by the Judge.

(LCA-Vision, Inc. d/b/a LasikPlus, FTC File No. 022-3098, July 11, 2003; The Laser Vision Institute, LLC, FTC File No. 022-3053, July 11, 2003; see also Advertising Compliance Service, Tab #5, Substantiation, Article #83.)


On July 28, 2003, FTC upheld charges that several subsidiaries of Vivendi Universal, S.A. illegally agreed with Warner Communications Inc. to restrict competition for audio and video products featuring "The Three Tenors"--Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti. In its opinion, authored by Chairman Timothy J. Muris, FTC ruled that PolyGram Holding, Inc. (a predecessor to Vivendi) improperly agreed with Warner to curb discounting and advertising to boost sales of recordings that the two companies jointly had distributed based on the tenors' concert in Paris during the 1998 soccer World Cup. FTC's order bars PolyGram from agreeing with competitors to fix the prices or restrict the advertising of products they have produced independently.

FTC's vote to issue the opinion and accompanying order was 5-0.

(In the Matter of Polygram Holding, Inc., Decca Music Group Limited, UMG Recordings, Inc., and Universal Music & Video Distribution Corp., Issuance of Opinion of the Commission and Final Order, Opinion of the Commission, by Chairman Timothy J. Muris, FTC Dkt. No. 9298, July 28, 2003.)
















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